Domaine Jean-René Germanier is one of the oldest Swiss wineries, founded in 1896. Germanier harvested his first vintage in 1896 in Balavaud and devoted his life to his vineyards. His three sons, Francis, Paul and Charles later took over. The winery is now in its third generation under the leadership of Jean-René Germanier and his cousin Gilles Besse. Gilles Besse was 24 when he was approached by his uncle, who is only seven years his senior, to join the family winery.
He accepted the challenge and began studying oenology at the Swiss school of Changins. In 1993 he vinified his first wines on the estate nestled in the heart of Valais. Together, Gilles and Jean-René have been involved in sustainable agriculture for almost twenty years and eventually played a pioneering role in a quality wine revolution in Switzerland. In the Valais is the Swiss valley of the Rhône and it offers an extraordinary alpine terroir and they do everything they can to ensure that their wines will be the worthy reflection of it. At Germanier they make top-notch Terroir wines made under the guidance of talented oenologists Richard Riand and his wife Delphine practices traditional vinification and cask vinification with exceptional rigor and passion. Numerous international awards have recognized this commitment to excellence, including more than 30 wines with more than 90 points in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.
Located in the hamlet of Balavaud in Vétroz in Valais, the Jean-René Germanier estate covers 170 hectares and produces 800,000 bottles. About thirty hectares are cultivated according to BIOSUISSE standards. The vines benefit from the region's hot and dry microclimate. They grow on different soils: slate, alluvial deposits and glacial moraines. 16 different grape varieties are grown for a range of 38 wines. The main grape varieties grown are Chasselas, Amigne, Arvine, Johannisberg, Chardonnay, Païen, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Syrah, Humagne, Cornalin, Gamaret and Merlot. The best grapes are hand-picked and used to make their high-quality red, white, rosé and dessert wines.
Jean-René Germanier makes Terroir wines, so no artifice, but good wines come from healthy grapes and represent the wine with the Terroir. The concept of terroir describes a specific harmony between characteristics of soil, microclimate and grape variety. In certain vineyards, estates or localities, this trio produces characteristics that make it possible to create very unique wines, clearly marked by their harvest year and that ennoble the grape variety itself. More than 25 years ago, they became pioneers in methods of sustainable viticulture out of respect for the environment. Through the practical use of integrated production, they have successfully eliminated the use of pesticides and other treatments. Today they have reached another milestone by eliminating the use of synthetic products in all our vineyards, which span over 25 hectares. As a result, they have become one of the largest wine estates in the country certified BIOSUISSE.